Brand spotlight: Tropic Skincare

Ever wondered what happens to Apprentice contestants after the final credits? Need a bit of early inspiration to get your day off to a positive start?

I discovered Tropic Skincare through the FreeFrom Skincare Awards, when their Organic Hot Bamboo Smoothing Cleanser was shortlisted (it later took home THE big prize, winning Best FreeFrom Product). Hand on heart, I’d never heard of them but that’s mostly why I love the Awards so much: I pick up something new every year. Having tried out the Cleanser myself, I wanted to know a lot more and went round to look them up at the LNLO show. Sadly founder Susan Ma wasn’t there in person, but I met with one of her sales consultants – Steve – who was a great source of information and inspiration. He also very kindly gifted me the Body Love Buttercream*, which is every bit as delicious as it sounds.

Before I get to the products, a word on Susan. If you don’t know her story, it’s worth reading in full here. She started her career in skincare aged just 15, selling jars of her Sea Salt Body Polish – packed full of ingredients inspired by her Australian childhood – at Greenwich Market. In just a year, she and her mum had saved enough through Tropic sales to put down a deposit on a house. Five years later, after many weekends and evenings studying cosmetic formulating, Susan was was part of the 2010 Apprentice intake. While she made it to the final, she didn’t make the top spot, not that that put her off. In 2011, she approached Alan Sugar again with a reformulated business plan (who according to Steve, gave the products to his wife to try out and was likely influenced by her enthusiasm). Lord Sugar invested and Tropic went stellar.

Which just goes to show what you can accomplish if you really put your mind to it.

The products themselves are worth the hype.

BLOG_8The Organic Hot Bamboo Smoothing Cleanser contains green tea and eucalyptus to clarify and brighten, while jojoba and avocado oils, packed with vitamin E, leave skin feeling soft, nourished and hydrated. I’m sure I won’t be the first to say it, but this is a definite dupe for Liz Earle’s famous Hot Cloth Cleanser (it’s the eucalyptus…) only a little better. The Tropic cleanser’s creamy consistency has a slightly oilier base than the Liz Earle, giving it better slip for massage and a softer, smoother application. That lovely eucalyptussy zing is perfect for morning cleansing and it really did leave my skin feeling soft and refreshed.

The cleanser also comes with a face cloth made of 100% organic, sustainable bamboo fibre, which was a really nice touch. Apparently bamboo is naturally antibacterial and I can vouch for the fact that it’s the softest face cloth I’ve ever used. Perfect when my skin’s a bit upset or sensitive.

blog__2The Body Love Buttercream* is another winner. It boasts the moisturising holy trinity – cocoa, shea and coconut butters – and while it’s rich and velvety, it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy film. Essential oils of lemon myrtle, bergamot, lime and orange blossom give it a citrus tang that is the exact smell of lemon meringue pie, sharp and meltingly sweet all at the same time. The big 300ml tub just lasts and lasts too. Very nice for summer moisturising.

Oh and in the interests of keeping a promise to Steve, Tropic use consultants to sell products (a bit like Neal’s Yard) and are currently looking for people to join their sales team. If you’re at all interested in joining the team, just email

Organic Hot Bamboo Smoothing Cleanser £15 for 120ml (ingredients):

Purified Water (Aqua), Golden Jojoba Oil (simmondsia chinensis seed oil), Sweet Almond Oil (prunus amygdalus dulcis oil), Avocado Oil (persea gratissima oil), Cocoa Butter (theobroma cocoa seed) Coconut & Cassava emulsifier (cetearyl alcohol,cetearyl glucoside),Vegetable Glycerin (glycerin), Organic Citrus* (citrus extract),Vitamin E (tocopherol), Candelilla Wax (euphorbia cerifera wax), Organic Grapefruit Seed Extract (citrus grandis seed extract), Green Tea Extract (camellia sinensis leaf extract), Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis oil),Camomile (anthemis nobilis flower oil), Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus leaf oil) Gentle Preservative System (ethylhexylglycerin)

Body Love Buttercream* £24 for 300ml (ingredients):

Water (aqua), Golden Jojoba Oil (simmondsia chinensis seed oil), Macadamia Nut Oil (macadamia ternifolia seed oil) Shea Butter (butyrospermum parkii), Cocoa Butter (theobroma cacao butter), Coconut Butter (Cocos nucifera butter) Natural Vitamin E (tocopherol) Coconut Emulsifier(cetearyl alcohol), Cassava Emulsifier (cetearyl glucoside),Glycerin (glycerin), Candelilla Wax(euphorbia cerifera), Corn Sugar Gum(xantham gum), Organic Hibiscus Extract(hibiscus rosa-sinensis extract), Sea Kelp (lactobacillus/kelp ferment filtrate),Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil(backhousia citriodora oil), Bergamot Essential Oil(citrus aurantium bergamia oil), Neroli Essential Oil (citrus aurantium oil),Lime Essential Oil (citrus aurantifolia oil), Gentle Preservatives(phenoxyethanol & ethylhexyglycerin)

* PR sample – all opinions are my own

2 thoughts on “Brand spotlight: Tropic Skincare

  1. I’ve known Tropic when Susan was selling those jars of Sea Salt Body Polish (which I miss greatly) the brand has greatly evolved over the years. Of course, things have to change to bring in more customers but it’s no longer recognisable to what I originally fell in love with. I can’t help but feel that we have another Liz Earle range on our hands.

    • Oh how brilliant – I’d love to have seen the original range. You make a really good point though. It must be very difficult as a brand, particularly in the natural/organic sphere where authenticity is so important, to grow and develop (and, of course, make money from a viable business) while staying true to your roots. I hope Susan stays involved with the business in the ways that matter most because I’ve been really impressed with the products I’ve used so far.

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